Persecution is increasing in Burma as more people turn to Jesus Christ. Buddhists who convert to Christianity have difficulty keeping jobs and are often driven from their homes, according to a VOM worker. Two families currently working with VOM’s Burma fish-farm project lost their jobs and homes after coming to faith in Christ last July. One family is living in a hut used for secret worship services, while the other is living in a hut where fish feed is stored. Amid this increasing pressure, the fish farm just completed its second harvest cycle. Despite setbacks from flooding and government opposition, the farm still generated income, which will be invested in church planting as well as re-invested to make the farm more productive. Pray that God will grant grace and strength to believers in Burma.
Kazakhstan—Believers Fined for Prayer Service Sources: VOM Sources, Forum 18 News
Seven members of a small Baptist church in Ayagoz, East Kazakhstan Province, were fined recently for holding unregistered religious services. Police raided the group’s prayer service on April 4, and all seven were fined the equivalent of nearly two months’ average wages. According to Forum 18 News, two of those fined were grandmothers in their late 70s. Although appeals for dismissal of the fines were unsuccessful, media attention has helped the case of another Baptist, Vyacheslav Cherkasov. The court has overturned a previous decision to destroy Bibles that were confiscated from Cherkasov. Under Kazakhstan’s legal code, both “Leadership of an unregistered or banned social or religious organization” and “missionary activity without registration” are illegal.
Nepal—Pastor Imprisoned Over Hindu Dietary Customs Source: VOM Sources
Pastor Chhedar Nhote Lhomi was arrested and imprisoned after local people accused him of killing a cow. Before his arrest, the local people destroyed his family’s home and possessions. Pastor Lhomi, a husband and father of three young children, has also been accused of spreading the gospel and making Hindus eat beef. He is now facing a prison sentence of 12 years. VOM will be working to achieve Pastor Lhomi’s release from prison and helping to support his family during this time. He will not be allowed to receive Christian visitors while in prison, but VOM will add him to the www.prisoneralert.com website so that he can receive letters from believers around the world who are praying for him. Pastor Lhomi has been working in ministry since 2003 and leads an established church that meets regularly.